Being a vegetarian for many years has taught me how to love the mighty portobello mushroom. Whether stuffed, turned into a burger, or added to on-the-go egg bites, they provide tons of meaty texture and flavor. While I am no longer meatless, I still adore these versatile vegetables.
These grilled “pizzas” are proof. Large portobello mushroom caps are the ultimate base for gluten-free individual pizzas. Keep them vegetarian if you like, or add your favorite meaty topping (I’m looking at you, pepperoni). No matter what, they’re a fun way to bring an extra dose of vegetables to your table any night of the week.
How to Grill Portobello Mushrooms
Grilling portobellos couldn’t be easier, which is another boon for the mushroom. Wipe away any bits of dirt with a damp paper towel. While the stems are edible, they can be a little woody and do get in the way of filling the caps with pizza toppings, so simply tug on them gently to remove them. You can save the stems to use in vegetable stock or mushroom soup. If you’re stuffing the mushrooms or making these pizzas, use a spoon to scrape out the black-brown gills inside the caps to make a bit more room for the filling.
Next, brush the caps generously all over with olive oil and season with salt. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill by heating to medium-high and cleaning and oiling the grates. Grill the mushrooms flat side down first until they just start to become tender, about 5 minutes.
Flip the caps, and, if you’re making pizzas, fill them with pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese, and any other toppings you like. Cook for 5 minutes more to melt the cheese and finish cooking the mushrooms.
Tips for the Best Grilled Mushroom Pizzas
I suggest staying away from ingredients that might add extra moisture to the mushrooms, such as spinach, as the caps are already quite wet. Grilling them hollowed-out side first helps some of this moisture drip away, so it’s best to avoid adding it back in unless you like soggy pizzas—which I am sure you don’t. That’s also why I opt for low-moisture mozzarella rather than fresh mozzarella.
To make these grilled mushroom pizzas as easy as possible, I veer towards no-cook toppings. While things like cooked, crumbled sausage and caramelized onions would no doubt be delicious, simplicity wins out. A few of my go-to toppings include:
- Pepperoni (mini are especially fun here)
- Chopped red or white onion
- Diced bell peppers
- Pitted, sliced olives
- Thinly sliced prosciutto
How to Serve Grilled Mushroom Pizzas
I like to serve two of these little grilled mushroom pizzas per person with a simple green salad or grilled vegetables like asparagus or eggplant on the side. If anyone around the table isn’t gluten-free, they’re also pretty fantastic with garlic bread. Otherwise, if you’re craving something starchy to round out the meal that is gluten-free, I’d suggest these grilled sweet potatoes.
Preheat the grill:
Prepare and preheat the grill for medium-high, direct heat.
Prepare the mushrooms:
Wipe the mushrooms clean with a damp paper towel. Remove the stems from the mushrooms and discard. Use a spoon to gently scrape out and discard the gills to make room for the filling. Brush the mushrooms on both sides with olive oil and season all over with salt.
Prepare the grill:
Scrape the grill grates clean, if needed. Oil the grill grates with a folded paper towel dipped in olive oil (we recommend grasping the paper towel with tongs so you don’t burn yourself).
Grill the mushrooms:
Place the mushroom on the grill, hollowed-out side down. Cover the grill and grill until the edges curl and char in spots, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the toppings:
Flip the mushroom caps. Divide half of the cheese among the mushroom caps then spoon the pizza sauce over the cheese, spreading it gently with the back of the spoon into an even layer. Sprinkle each cap with the remaining cheese and top with your toppings of choice, if using.
Finish grilling the mushrooms:
Cover the grill and continue to grill until the cheese has melted and the mushrooms are tender when pierced with a knife, 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a serving platter, sprinkle with fresh basil or oregano (if using), and serve.
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